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God knew

About the author: Jennifer and I have been serving with the Navigators since 1997, first in China and for the last 8 years in Mongolia. We have two adopted Chinese children who are now grown. It was through our children that God grabbed out hearts for China. We grew up in Chicago and spent five wonderful years in Indianapolis prior to going overseas.

The focus of our ministry is to advance the gospel of Jesus into the Nations through spiritual generations of laborers. In Mongolia, we lead a group of first-generation believers. Our work is to disciple them that they in turn will do this with others and in this way see God’s Kingdom grow (Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:2). We’re especially excited about the Tibet-Buddhist Belt which is home to 22+million people in the region of Northern India, Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia, and Nepal. Most of them have never heard the name of Jesus. Please pray that the Good News of Jesus will reach their hearts.

Today's Scripture: Exodus 2:24-25

And God heard their (Israel’s) groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel-God knew (ESV) 

Imagine what it was like for Israel as Egyptian slaves. Because of their responses, it is apparent that they do not want to be in that situation. It was burdensome and a hardship on them. I would want a change as well. And so Israel groaned and cried for God’s help. They wanted to be rescued.

And there are four things we learn about God and his response to Israel:

  1. God heard their groaning (vs. 24)
  2. God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (vs. 24)
  3. God saw the people of Israel (vs. 25)
  4. God knew (vs. 25)

There is a connection between what God experienced with his senses and what it caused him to do. God heard Israel’s groaning and remembered his covenant with them. God saw and knew what was happening to them and how to act.

As you consider your current situation, it may be a struggle. How does knowing that God hears you and sees your plight affect your thinking and actions about your circumstances? What is the Good News in this passage? How does this passage deepen your faith and dependence on God?

Prayer:

God,
Thanks that you are a God of compassion who hears and sees my life as no one else can. Please act in accordance with your will and character to mold and shape me into the kind of person who trusts in you, even in the darkest of times.
In Jesus Name,
Amen.

Activity:

One of the things that Jennifer and I have returned to after many years is solving puzzles. It’s been fun and we have rediscovered how much we enjoy doing this activity together. We also enjoy going on late afternoon walks before dinner. Great way to meet the neighbors!

Posted by John Keller with

Never again will they thirst

About the authors: Hey! We’re Josh and Kelsey and we’ve been living in the Arabian Peninsula for the last 3 and a half years. After intensive language studies for the past few years, we’ve finally gained the tools necessary to evangelize and disciple our neighbors in the unreached world. In our entire country, there are less than 25 local followers of Jesus but this sad statistic is quickly changing. God is at work, appearing in dreams and visions and answering prayers in miraculous ways, all to draw the local people to himself. And we have the privilege of walking with them as Christ draws them near. It’s pretty amazing. We love to host so feel free to come visit and see this all for yourself. Looking at you Scott Shelton.

Today's scripture: Revelation 7:9-17

Listen, I don’t know if this scripture pumps you guys up like it does for us, but I hope you can feel the anticipation of this moment surging in your hearts. The moment every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is worthy of glory and honor and power. Revelation 7:16 says "never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat." In our world, thirst is a big thing. Not only does it reach 125° F here in the summer, but the people are also thirsty for living water. They have "clickers" as rings, bracelets, and apps on their phones all tallying their good deeds. + 5 points for giving water to the blue-collar workers outside, -10 points for giving that guy the bird while driving. Eventually this thirst wells up and spills out and they ask questions, seeking truth. “How can the good I’ve done possibly outweigh the bad?” “In all this tradition and work, why do I still feel so far from Allah?” But as so often is the case, their truth-seeking is met with anger and shame and the questions are silenced by fear. These people are left with dry mouths and hearts. But “He will lead them to Springs of living water.” (v.7) We take great peace in knowing that standing before the Lamb and before the throne there will be present, every nation, people, language and tribe. And this is something worth celebrating. When people here decide to follow Jesus, they risk losing everything important to them. Their jobs, families, future, marriages, safety, honor, and life. And yet, more and more we’re seeing people who were dead, come to life to cry aloud “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Yes, their families will likely disown them, yes, their lifelong dream of getting married and having children will no longer be possible. And yet, they have found living water, never again to hunger, never again to thirst.

Activity:

We’d be grateful if this week you would take every morning to hit one of these prayer points:

-For our own obedience: to take to heart that salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, for the recognition of our own sin- robes made white in the blood of the Lamb- and that this brings us to repentance, worship, and evangelism in our circles.

-For the millions of Muslims living in the Arabian Peninsula: who continue to have basically no access to the Gospel or to Scripture, who have already been visited by Jesus but have no understanding of who the “man in white” is, for God to send more workers to the harvest.

-For those who have already come forward and committed to follow Jesus: for perseverance as they face persecution, for bravery to meet together with people from other tribes, for boldness with their families and friends.

-For Leadership in the Arabian Peninsula: that God would bring those in high positions to saving faith through Jesus- Imams (Muslim leaders), Kings, Sultans, and Sheikhs- that they would lead their followers to Christ as people with enormous influence.

-Against apathy: that plagues wealthier countries, that God would cut through apathy to draw people to dependence, that people would recognize the void in their hearts and seek life and true peace.

-That God would bring seekers to the Christian workers in the Middle East: seekers who are hungry for truth and unable to sit in their doubt any longer, that God would show us who to spend time with and would make us a sweet scent to our neighbors and those we come into contact with in daily life (well, when Covid’s finished anyway).

-That our hearts would be gladdened and emboldened by the thought of people of every type and color and culture standing next to us as we give glory to the Lamb who has reunited us with the Father who refused to abandon us.

Posted by Josh and Kelsey with

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